petak, 9. veljače 2018.

David Rimmer - Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper (1970)

Film lebdi u vremenu, odlazi, nestaje, vraća se. Metafizika kao Goldbergova varijacija; nenarativna recikliranja nađenog filmskog celofana.

David Rimmer

Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre
This three volume set brings together some of David Rimmer’s most seminal early works. Born in Vancouver, BC, Rimmer has been a pivotal figure in the city’s art scene since the early ’70s. Known for his experimentation with superimposition, looping and optical printing, Rimmer’s aesthetic reflects a “West Coast sensitivity to landscape, poetry and psychedelia” – Mike Hoolboom.
Internationally celebrated filmmaker David Rimmer has over 25 experimental and documentary film and video productions to his credit. Throughout his prolific career, he has worked primarily in film, video and photography with his expertise extending to a variety of other media. His multi-faceted background includes working in performance, sound, sculpture, holography and dance.
Widely considered to be a key contributor to the emergence of film as an art form, Rimmer’s innovation has led to much acclaim. In addition to his provocative work as an artist, he is an instructor in the film and video program at Emily Carr College of Art and Design.

David Rimmer is one of Canada's best-known and influential experimental filmmakers. This 3-volume set brings together Rimmer’s seminal early works, made between 1968 and 1986. Born in Vancouver, BC, Rimmer has been a key figure in that city's avant garde and in New York City. Rimmer’s films are known for their formal experimentation with looping, superimposition and optical printing. But they also go beyond structuralist strictures to operate on a poetic and metaphoric level.

Canada / 13:00 / 1968 / sound / colour
“'Square Inch Field' surveys the micro-macro universe as contained in the mind of man. In that square inch field between the eyes... Rimmer projects a vision of the great mandala of humanity's all-time experience in space/time... powerful aesthetic integrity." - Gene Youngblood
Canada / 11:00 / 1969 / sound / colour
"Rimmer describes 'Migration' as 'organic myth,' and he recalls that shooting began with the central image of a dead deer on a beach. Subsequently, he worked on either side of that image (shooting and editing) towards a composition that predominantly featured visual rhythms (which) are the result of an integration of two interesting techniques - flash-frame montage and 'writing' with the hand-held camera... Naturalism is subordinated to a kinetic interaction with organic life processes and decay." - Al Razutis, Vancouver Art Gallery
Canada / 8:00 / 1969 / silent / colour
Using fixed-frame timelapse, fifteen hours of a day in the mountains, showing the changes in the sea and sky, is compressed into eight minutes. It was originally designed to be displayed like a painting: rear-projected onto a plexiglass screen that was framed in a false wall by a traditional wooden picture frame.
Canada / 6:00 / 1970 / silent / colour
“‘Blue Movie’ was made for the international Dome Show where it was projected down onto the muslin surface of David Rimmer's geodesic dome. The audience lay on the floor looking up at it, the inside of each eye finishing the globe” (Gerry Gilbert, B. C. Monthly Magazine). Screened as a traditional "cinema" film, "Blue Movie" is about movement on the film surface.
Canada / 5:00 / 1970 / silent / b/w
“Treefall" was originally made for a dance performance at the Vancouver Art Gallery, April, 1970. Structured in the form of two loops of high-contrast images of trees falling, reprinted and overlapped.
Canada / 5:00 / 1970 / sound / b/w
"With an irresistible humour, Rimmer speculates in 'The Dance' on the nature of the film loop. We see a (1920’s) couple whirling around a dance floor at a dizzying pace... Even after the technical building block of the film is evident, the vertiginous effect remains... Uncanny in its ability to evoke complexity of responses from a simplicity of means.” - Art and Cinema, #2
Canada / 5:00 / 1970 / silent / colour
"The loveliest Rimmer film shows a river boat slowly steaming past the Houses of Parliament - so slowly that it seems not to be moving, and surrounded by such luminous mistiness that one critic is supposed to have thought he was looking at a Turner painting rather than at film footage. Gradually the surface of the film begins to wrinkle slightly, to spot, to show minor blemishes.... The gesture is tentative and discreet, but it is also unsettling and liberating in ways that seem central to the gentle invocations of dissolution that are a basic feature of David Rimmer's world." - Roger Greenspun, New York Times
Volume Two
Running time 53:30 min
Canada / 8:30 / 1970 / sound / colour
"The most exciting non-narrative film I've ever seen.... The basic image is a female factory worker unrolling a large sheet of cellophane.... The film resembles a painting floating through time, its subject disappearing and re-emerging in various degrees of abstraction." - Kristine Nordstrom, The Village Voice
Canada / 11:00 / 1971 / silent / b/w
"The basic image derives from a shot of women in (Edwardian era ) dresses standing along the edge of the ocean. Within this eight-second loop, [Rimmer] cuts shorter ones. For example, the activity of a central group of three women is cut so that the figures repeat certain motions over and over and over again.... Rimmer also chose to use the forms of surface imperfections, the scratches and dirt patterns, as bases for his loops." - Kristina Nordstrom, The Village Voice
Canada / 13:00 / 1971 / sound / colour
Selected moments from eight months of street life outside a Manhattan pizza parlour, as seen from a fourth-floor loft. People coming and going, changes in weather, light. My first dramatic film. (DR)
“A cheerful, slightly crazy jauntiness prevails that may be as close as film form can come to really capturing a mood of the city." - Roger Greenspun
Canada / 11:00 / 1973 / silent / b/w
A mathematically ordered restructuring of two seconds (48 frames) of stock newsreel footage, primarily concerned with the frame as information unit and the change in formation between frames.
"The first frame of the original shot is frozen for 1200 frames (approximately one minute), the next two for 600 frames, the next four for 300 frames, etc. The result is a slowly accelerating montage and a concretization of the 'real' event through time. It is as if a re-invention of the motion picture domain of 'reality' was being undertaken." - Al Razutis, Vancouver Art Gallery
Canada / 10:00 / 1973 / silent / colour
"Variously relaxed, apprehensive, or relieved, the fractured gestures of a woman and a baby are played backward and forward, frame by frame, like a musical phrase." - Ian Birnie
“‘Fracture’ presents the viewer with a narrative riddle, one which is related directly to the nature of parallel construction ... [It] successfully isolates and exploits basic cinematic codes and conventions, such as screen direction and open-frame composition, in the creation of an implied and poetic narrative." - Al Razutis
Volume Three
Running time 63:00 min
Canada / 9:00 / 1974 / silent / colour
Vancouver harbour, with its railyards, mountains and passing ships, is a vista in fluid transformation as three winter months are reviewed in ten minutes. What interested me about the shot were the horizontals: train tracks, the water, the mountains, the sky. In the way those four elements would change. (DR)
Canada / 9:00 / 1975 / silent / colour
Designed as a companion piece to “Canadian Pacific.” Shot from a window two storeys higher, on the fourth floor of the next building east from the artist's studio of the previous year: December 1974 to February 1975. Can be projected alone or in double-screen format with "Canadian Pacific."
Canada / 10:00 / 1980 / silent / colour
Starting with a boat swaying on its anchor at the head of an inlet, a landscape of pilings, shore, and forest is slowly revealed by time-lapse photography as the morning fog lifts. While the deep space of the landscape evolves out of the fog-enshrouded flatness of early morning, the camera skips from fixed point to fixed point - suggesting the motion of the human eye while reading.
Canada / 11:00 / 1984 / sound / colour
A film which deals with aspects of male and female representation, spatial and temporal dislocation, and notions of framing and containment.
Canada / 15:00 / 1986 / sound / colour
"Much of the imagery seen on TV is first captured on film; here the filmmaker has reversed the process. As the title suggests, this film foregrounds the aesthetic nature of the television/cinematic medium by manipulating its pictorial qualities - image grain, scan lines and its luminous colour qualities. The structure of the film alternates between looped, processed stock TV imagery and a blank, static blue screen.... ‘As Seen on TV’ is a moving film which conveys a deep-seated human experience." - Maria Insell

Film Descriptions excerpted from loop, print, fade + flicker: David Rimmer’s Moving Images
Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper (1970. 8 mins.)
Or he might make a loop out of a woman throwing some cellophane on a table and then unravel every possible variation, in every colour and combination of colours (Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper, 1970). The way he could measure time and rhyme it out second after second like a musician working off a riff, like old Bach sitting down at the clavier running out his variations. David could make the fragments sing.
Surfacing on the Thames (1970. Silent, 10 mins.)
He was a recycler, working with remnants until the audience could feel it right along with him, holding that bit of plastic in his hands. He might dissolve one frame into the next frame into the next, so you’d slowly watch a barge cross the River Thames, along with a storm of golden dust and scratches (Surfacing on the Thames, 1970).
Narrows Inlet (1980. Silent, 8 mins.)
He takes his camera out on a boat and click clicks a frame at a time even though he can’t glimpse a thing.He’s caught in the fog and there’s nothing there at all until a sliver of colour appears, and then slowly, oh so very slowly, the fog lifts and the tree line lives again, staring back at the camera with all of its colour and height resolved. Another small miracle of looking
Real Italian Pizza (1971. 12 mins.)
"And I was a little reluctant to take my camera out on the street because it’s a tough place, you know, and a lot of people would try and steal it from me, I guess. And I didn’t know the rhythmof the city enough to...So I thought, 'Why not just stick it out the window?' And fortunately, across the street, this is four floors up, there was a pizza parlour and there was a lot of activity going on in front of it: kids would hang out there, drug deals would go on, or ..."
As Seen on TV (1986. 14 mins.)
So he lays a snippet of epileptic seizure between day-glo-coloured TV bits until the seizure becomes a comment on televisual spasmwhich he names As Seen on TV.
Bricolage (1984. 11 mins.)
He runs a loop of sound and picture out of joint until the sound comes all the way back and accompanies the picture again in Bricolage (1984).
On the Road to Kandahar (2003. 5 mins.)
Tiger (1994. 5 mins.)
Divine Mannequin (1989. 7 mins.)
Padayatra (Walking Meditation) (2006. 12 mins.)
An Eye for an Eye (2003, 12 mins.)
An experimentalist even today, directly applying colour on 35mm film in films like An Eye for an Eye (2003), a review of many of Rimmer’s earlier films such as Migration (1969), Landscape (1968), Canadian Pacific I (1974) and Canadian Pacific II (1975) set his work in sharp relief against the common structuralist penchant for indoor scenarios and confined settings, and constantly return us to the cultural contexts and broad visual "scapes" of Vancouver and British Columbia (both urban and rural) repeatedly invoked throughout his work.
Local Knowledge (1992, 30 mins.)
His second great "period" comes to an end with Local Knowledge (1992). It is a reckoning and last stand. Not a movie that could ever be made by a young man, its time-compressed skies and hunters and fishers and motorboat reveries narrate a home movie reading of the west coast. -


Cover of Loop, Print, Fade + Flicker

Loop, Print, Fade + Flicker: David Rimmer's Moving Images

By Mike Hoolboom & Alex MacKenzie, Anvil Press (March 1, 2009)

The Pacific Cinémathèque Monograph Series was initiated to explore the spectrum of contributions and innovations of Western Canadian filmmakers, videomakers, and fringe media artists. Monograph Number One focuses, fittingly, on David Rimmer, one of Canada’s foremost experimental filmmakers.

There is no better way to start off Pacific Cinémathèque’s Monograph Series, celebrating West Coast filmmakers, than with the work of David Rimmer. Mike Hoolboom’s essay tantalizes us with a romantic myth that contextualizes David, while Alex MacKenzie’s interview lets the artist speak for himself. Both offer a unique insight into the art practice of one of the most influential Canadian filmmakers of the 20th century. — Ann Marie Fleming,  independent filmmaker and visual artist

For David Rimmer, film is a way of seeing, a way of experiencing life. And there are no two better filmmakers to take us on this journey of coming to understand Rimmer and his practice than Mike Hoolboom and Alex MacKenzie. Before there was even the awareness of a filmmaking culture in Canada, one “more concerned with dramatics,” Rimmer was breaking the rules as they were being made. Working with film as a canvas, Rimmer’s works are technical experimentations incorporating found footage, optical and contact printing and hybrid film and video forms. Like that other Economics major turned self-taught filmmaker, Guy Maddin, Rimmer is a seminal Canadian filmmaker and a must-study for any student of Canadian cinema. — Cecilia Araneda,
Executive Director, Winnipeg Film Group

[Rimmer’s] Surfacing on the Thames is a brilliant film which, in its way, belongs in the same class as Snow’s Wavelength. I’ve never seen anything like it … the ultimate metaphysical movie.— Gene Youngblood, ArtsCanada magazine

The most exciting non-narrative film I’ve ever seen … images become polarized into grainy outlines, like drawings in white or colored chalk which gradually disintegrate and disappear. The film [Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper] resembles a painting floating through time, its subject disappearing and re-emerging in various degrees of abstraction.— Kristina Nordstrom, The Village Voice

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